Missoula City Council Approves 2017 Budget – With Some Additions
At Monday night's Missoula City Council meeting, the Fiscal Year 2017 budget was approved.
Communications Director for the City, Ginny Merriam, said the total budget is approximately $116 million, and of that amount, the general fund is approximately $53 million.
"The mayors final proposed budget called for a 3.9 percent increase, but the way the budget ended up last night was a with a 3.83 percent increase," Merriam said. "The estimated property tax increase on a $270,000 home would be $26.65."
Merriam said the council originally proposed to cut funding for what are called Community Based Organizations, however, that changed during the meeting.
"For instance, the city band had been receiving funding every year from the city since 1926, and the council had proposed cutting funding for all those organizations by 10 percent," she continued. "Many of the representatives of the organizations turned out to let the council know what the impact would be of that lost funding, and so the council restored that funding . The same goes for the Missoula Economic Partnership, which had been receiving $100,000 a year since its inception in 2011, but the council proposed to cut $75,000 from that funding. After hearing from Director James Grunke and board member Jeff Fee, the funding was restored."
In an interview with KGVO News, Grunke said he was gratified and relieved that the funding had been restored.
"It means a lot to us," Grunke said. "Not only is the funding a significant portion of our budget, but it's also a significant vote if confidence by the city for the work that we're doing. We are the primary economic development organization for the city and the county, and what that means is that we are primarily focusing on attracting companies into our community, helping local business that want to grow and expand, or working with startups."
Only Ward Two's Harlan Wells voted against the proposed budget.